You are on the Isaiah 40:8 Page of


This Page elaborates on the Study notes for Isaiah 40:8 - the word of the Lord




The Word of the Lord



Isaiah 40:8 - "the word of our God stands forever"

The "word of the Lord" is so significant in Scripture that it is worth our while to consider it as a separate study:


The Expression of God

Because it occurs in Scripture so often, we perhaps take it for granted, that God SPEAKS to people. Depending from what sort of church we come, we either believe that God only speaks through the Scripture, or that God can speak today through Scripture AND a variety of other ways.  The fact of the matter is that GOD SPEAKS and, of course, when He spoke initially, it wasn't in a written form.  The written form what we now call Scripture, simply records the fact of His having spoken.


God Speaks at Creation

Right at the beginning of the Bible in the record of the Creation, we keep finding "and God said" (Gen 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26) and with no more ado, it was done. God spoke and it happened.  For God speaking is intimately linked sometimes with God doing.

We said 'sometimes' because it is not always so. Sometimes when God speaks it is simply a command or even a declaration of intent, for something that may happen many centuries later.


The Word of the Lord

The fact is that in Scripture again and again we find that God came and spoke and the formula, "the word of the Lord came" is used.

The first instance of this is in Gen 15:1  "the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision."  

However we shouldn't think that this is the only way God's communications are recorded, for even before this we find (Gen 12:1) "The Lord had said to Abram" and also (Gen 12:4) "the Lord had told him", and (Gen 12:7) "the Lord appeared to Abram and said..." and (Gen 13:14) "the Lord said to Abram",  i.e. before chapter 15 there are at least four references to God's communications that do not use the formula, "the word of the Lord".

Yet only a few verses later (Gen 15:4) it is used again to communicate to Abram God's intent for him.

We don't next see it until Exo 9:20,21 when we find reference to the "officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD", and "those who ignored the word of the LORD left their slaves and livestock in the field."

We next find it twice in Num 3:16,51  in the phrase, "as he was commanded by the word of the LORD." 

Interestingly it is not used at Sinai but Moses does refer to God's communications at Sinai as the word of the Lord (Deut 5:5).

It next appears in the account of Samuel being called by God, first where we are told that "in those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions." (1 Sam 3:1), and then when Samuel starts hearing we are told, " Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him." (1 Sam 3:7)

That the Lord spoke often with Samuel is clear from his story, yet it is not until 1 Sam 15:1 we again come across the bland phrase, "Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel."  This was when God was telling him that Saul had grieved Him.

When Samuel subsequently conveys God's displeasure with Saul, he says, "Because you have rejected the word of the LORD , he has rejected you as king." (1 Sam 15:23), and repeats it three verses later.

To see the next use of this phrase we have to jump some years to when David is king and has just been thinking about building a temple for God, and God's word comes to Nathan the prophet (2 Sam 7:4) to tell David that his son will build it.

Later on when Nathan has to chastise David, he asks, "Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? (2 Sam 12:9)

It is next used by David in his prophetic song (2 Sam 22:31) "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."

The next time (2 Sam 24:11) is when Gad the prophet receives a word of judgement-discipline for David.

In 1 Kings 2:27 it is used to refer back to God's word about the house of Eli.

In 1 Kings 6:11, "The word of the LORD came to Solomon" which was a word affirming God's previous words to David, now applying to Solomon.

In 1 Kings 12:24 the phrase is used to apply to a word that has just been brought prophetically that Judah is not to fight Israel, i.e. that they are to allow the kingdom to be divided.

In 1 Kings 13:1 it is the word of the Lord that sends a prophet to speak against the altar at Bethel, which was to cause Israel much trouble.


Recap, so far

With all of these references, we begin to get a glimmer of the truth, that "the word of the Lord" conveyed a prophetic revelation that was something quite significant for the moment. It was God's clearly defined intent being expressed:


To Abram That God is his shield Gen 15:1
  That Eliezar is not his heir Gen 15:4
From Moses That the Sinai revelation was the word of the Lord Deut 5:5
Through Moses That God's words to Pharaoh were the word of the Lord Ex 9:20,21
To Moses Instructions about numbering the people Num 3:16,51
About Samuel The word was rare & had not yet come to Samuel 1 Sam 3:1,7
Through Samuel About Saul's decline 1 Sam 15:1,23
To Nathan About David not building the Temple 2 Sam 7:4
  About David's sin 2 Sam 12:9
To Gad About David's discipline 2 Sam 24:11
About Eli The word against his house 1 Kings 2:27
To Solomon Affirming his following his father 1 Kings 6:11
To Judah Stopping them fighting Israel 1 Kings 12:24
Against Israel Speaking against the alter at Bethel 1 Kings 13:1


In every case, there was a significant revelation or turning point. 

In the subsequent chapters and books, the phrase starts being used more and more in respect of the various prophets who brought God's word.


To Conclude - The Word of the LORD

Before we conclude these notes, we should note that in every case it is the word of the LORD and in your Bible LORD there (in capitals) refers to Yahweh, the God who describes Himself as "I AM" - the eternal, ever present One (see Exodus 3).

The revelation that comes is the revelation of the Almighty Eternal, Ever-Present God.  This lifts these communications far above any mere human direction.  This is God Himself, the One who is above and outside of time-space history, speaking into that time-space history, speaking His purposes.

When the Word of the LORD comes, it is important! Because it comes from God, as Isaiah tells us in 40:8 His word stands forever. It isn't forgotten and it WILL be fulfilled. You can rely utterly on these communications. When God speaks, He means it, and He really wants us to take note of it.

For further study, you may wish to go back through each of the references in the table above, and really take in the significance of the word that was coming.  As we have already said, each word is highly significant in the life of the individual or people.

When the word of the Lord comes, we really need to take note of it.  May it be so!



"The word became flesh" (Jn 1:14). How can we leave this subject without a brief reference at least to the fact that the word of God became flesh - the ultimate communication of God was through His Son, Jesus Christ.  As the writer to the Hebrews put it so simply, "in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son" (Heb 1:2). Jesus is the expression of God, the perfect expression of "the word of the Lord"!






Return to Front Page